"bù yào" or "bú yào"?
In one of the Newbie lessons, when saying I don't want - it's translated as "bù yào" - should this be rather "bú yào"?
bababardwanSeptember 09, 2012, 09:58 AM
Good question. bu is usually fourth tone. Even when there is a tone change when speaking, by pinyin convention you don't change the written tone if that makes sense.
Other Mandarin websites do change the written tone? Would you please ask them why they do it the way they do then? I'd be curious to hear their reasons.
This is not just a ChinesePod convention, it's a rule of tone changes in Mandarin. ALL Mandarin teachers, textbooks and other learning material I have ever seen or heard teach it as ChinesePod does.
These tone change rules may take some getting used to at first, but there aren't many and they're not complicated. The tone changes in fact occur to make pronunciation easier. And the rule with the pinyin is that you don't change the tone mark even when there is a tone change.
Is there really a rule book for Pinyin? I think many people confuse long-held conventions with hard-and-fast rules. Even if the people who originally devised Pinyin didn't change tone markers (and I have never heard anyone state definitively that this was the case) that doesn't make it a rule today.
Pinyin is not a language of communication, it is merely a teaching tool. As such any teachers should feel free to defy any convention/rule if they believe it would be beneficial to teaching their students. And MANY do.
"Pinyin is not a language of communication, it is merely a teaching tool. As such any teachers should feel free to defy any convention/rule if they believe it would be beneficial to teaching their students"
....fair enough. Yes, anything that will help, is instructive. But the point of conventions is so that folk understand what is being represented, and if you want to stray from the convention then you need to communicate that that is what is being done and why. In the absence of such an explanation, folk will presume the convention is being followed.
I don't know of any Pinyin Rule Book. The convention then, of not changing the tone mark even on tone changes is taught that way in Japan. We're not informed that it's just a convention Mandarin teaching in Japan favors and that native speakers won't know it and their conventions may vary. Like I said every teacher I have ever had here teaches it this way. They're all native speakers and none of them tell us anything about it being also acceptable to pinyinize buyao as bu2yao4. So it may be that it's somewhat misleading teaching but I guess from that that for instance young children's books would stick to this convention, not changing the tone mark. And someone decided that it would just be simpler and less confusing to teach learners that you don't ever change the pinyin tone mark.
Anyhow the simple answer to your comment which is "No, this is not just a ChinesePod convention" would have sufficed. Sorry for the confusion.
Actually I said that incorrectly.
I didn't mean "just a Chinese Pod convention", I meant "just THE Chinese Pod convention". Perhaps no-one will see the distinction, but I felt it necessary to clarify for those who see the difference.
I wasn't implying that Chinese Pod is the source of the convention, and it is indeed the way the majority of people teach Pinyin (though not all).
RJSeptember 10, 2012, 12:29 AM
The tone change rules are Mandarin rules, not pinyin rules. Whether one expresses these changes in a pinyin representation is unimportant, if you know the rules. I remember asking Chinese natives about this, and they are seldom aware of any such rules, as expressed here:
"To be honest, I was really confused by these rules. I was thinking, like, Thank God, I do not have to memorize this. I’m so glad I’m Chinese.”
and John explains the reason for confusion here:
rootSeptember 10, 2012, 10:40 AM
I remember having this problem when going through the newbie lessons. I thought it would make more sense for ChinesePod to alter the tones, since the teaching method here is inductive, rather than doing rule drills.
While not that important for 不要búyào, I still get totally confused by the 一yī tone changes at intermediate level, and some part of it is due to the tone change rules not being reflected in ChinesePod pinyin :(
Yes, I also find it confusing, since often the spoken tone on 一 does not appear to change as expected. It would be good to get a guide as to what the exceptions to this tone change rule are (or perhaps I am not hearing straight).
What gets me is that Chinese Pod are prepared to break the 'rules' and indicate tone changes for 好好 (hǎohāo).
And then you have 一会儿 where they are prepared to indicate the tone change on the 会, but not on the 一 (dictionary pronunciation is yīhuìr, Chinese Pod concession to tone change is yīhuǐr).
It is hard to justify adherence to an arbitrary rule when there is this lack of consistency.
jirikociSeptember 10, 2012, 04:47 PM
well, as I see it now, it's a pitty that ChPod do not change it in the text - when being actualy changed in the spoken language - it would help - us Newbies a lot:-)